COVID-19 has placed an extraordinary strain on our lives, our communities and our NHS. Because of this pressure, thousands of valve disease patients have experienced delays to treatments. While we understand that tough decisions need to be made to ease the strain on our NHS, we have a simple message to our care centres - just treat us.
Patients don't want to be a burden on our NHS but without treatment patients…
…will be sicker
…will face more complicated surgeries
…will take longer to recover
…will be more of a burden on the NHS
We want to empower our clinicians to treat heart valve disease patient. Patients tell us that despite Covid, they trust in local measures to treat us safely. Once treated, patients can get back to their normal lives and continue supporting their families, communities and the economy.
We need to be treating more heart valve disease patients, not fewer. We cannot afford to see a reduction in heart valve disease treatments to anywhere near the level we’ve witnessed over the past few months. The thousands of patients who didn't receive their treatment through April to December are now in their optimal treatment window, but by September that window may have closed.
You can help by joining our MP outreach campaign. Simply download our template letter, fill in the details and email or post your letter to your MP. By writing to your MP you and others can help show that heart valve disease treatments need to be prioritised =once the pressure on the NHS relaxes.
Make your voice heard by telling your MP of your heart valve disease experience, urging them to support heart valve disease patients in the future, and joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Heart Valve Disease.
Finding your MPThe UK Parliament website has a search function that allows members of the public to find this information by inputting their postcode.
Click here to find details on how to contact your MP.
Do you live in the devolved nations?
For patients living in the devolved nations, you can contact your local MSP (Scotland), MS (Wales) or MLA (Northern Ireland). In these nations, healthcare is a devolved matter, and so engagement may be more successful with these representatives.
Click here for details of your local MSP.
Click here for details of your local MS.
Click here for details of your local MLA.
Heart Valve Voice Template LetterHeart Valve Voice has developed a template letter to help make this as simple as possible.
All you need to do is download the template letter below and fill in the blank spaces, however, feel free to customise it as you see fit. This is a letter from you to your MP, so add as many details as possible. Explain the experience you have had and how it has affected your life. This might include delays in communications, cancellations of treatments, long waiting times or lack of access to treatments.
Click the link below to download our Patient Template Letter.
Click here for advice on writing your own letter.
Things to remember
- Make sure your MP knows you are their constituent
Include your name and address, including your postcode. This allows them to identify whether you are a constituent or not.
- Let them know you expect a reply
You could end your letter or email by saying “I look forward to hearing from you shortly.”
You may not receive a reply instantly. The pandemic has led to a large increase in MP outreach, so it may take longer than usual to receive a response but you have been heard, and you have helped the valve disease community be heard.
- Let us know
Once you’ve received a response from your MP/ sent your email/letter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your name and the name of your MP, so we know which MPs to engage with for future campaigns.